At the end of last year, Acer introduced the first gaming notebooks in the Predator family, who have been very successful. Now the Taiwanese manufacturer puts a line in the new generation of graphics cards NVIDIA Pascal. We just prepared a review of the new 17-inch notebook Acer Predator 17 G9-793 with a graphics card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070, which in our complete retail cost of 2,300 euros in Europe.
For manufacturers of notebook gaming segment it remains one of the most important, because here there is a continuous evolution and growth in sales. The reason lies not so much in the growing popularity of computer games as a substantial progress of computing and gaming performance of Intel chips, the NVIDIA and AMD, as in spite of the limited space of the laptop. With the latest generation of Pascal NVIDIA has taken an important step forward, GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card, the GTX 1070 and GeForce GTX 1060 moved to the desktop segment in the cell is almost unchanged. New NVIDIA chips prompted many manufacturers to upgrade their notebook lineup. Acer at the end of last year for the first time introduced the Predator gaming laptops, graphics processors is now giving way to the modern Maxwell chips Pascal. Acer has updated and Predator 15 and Predator 17.
In December 2015, we have already tested the Acer Predator younger model 15, which is considered quite successful attack on Taiwan’s gaming segment, now in our lab received a larger 17-inch version, but with updated hardware stuffing. Acer Predator 17 test notebook uses a powerful processor Intel Core i7-6700HQ and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card with 8 GB of video memory, the amount of RAM is 16 GB DDR4, is set inside a 256 GB SSD and an additional 1 TB hard drive. Also, the buyer will receive the usual Ethernet Controller Killer, keyboard from the RGB-backlit macro keys, technology, Frost Core and, of course, the IPS panel with support for G-Sync. But if the laptop justifies a hefty price of 2,300 euros? This will be discussed in our article.
The time when the gaming laptops were thick and cumbersome in the past. And the design of the modern game models is not as aggressive. Like MSI, Gigabyte or Clevo, Acer has chosen a relatively simple housing without frills. But the black coloring of the body is decorated with red inserts. On the lid is placed Predator logo, backlit in red during operation. To the left and right of the logo there are two LED-strip, which also light up when the laptop works.
As for materials, the Acer has chosen plastic, but it is coated with a material soft touch. As a result, the plastic feels nice and expensive, and the strength of the body is good. The quality of manufacture Acer Predator 17 is also not satisfactory. The body does not bend, all gaps are uniform, sharp edges, we have not found. display hinges are also quite tough.
With dimensions of 423 x 321,5 x 39,7 mm notebook Acer Predator 17 is not only a little wider and deeper than “younger” 15-inch model, but also thicker. For a gaming notebook like price and performance dimensions are to be expected, yet for most users it will replace your desktop PC. This is indicated by a decent weight of 4.2 kg.
Red accents and continue to the top of the main body Acer Predator 17. There are marked with red arrows and WASD keys, important for gamers. Outlining the touchpad while running red lights, too – at least if the touchpad is not switched off a separate button. However, the 17-inch laptop disappears after the whole moderate colors. The fact that Acer Predator 17 built-in keyboard from the RGB-backlit, for which you can choose any color imaginable. keyboard settings can be done through the program Predator Sense.
The keyboard backlight is divided into four different zones, each can choose your color. You can choose Through RGB LED not only nominally specified color, but any colors desired by the user. The program can see the current clock frequency of the graphics card and processor, as well as their temperature. For gamers will be important five macro keys on the left side of the keyboard. They can also be adjusted from the Sense program. The top button allows you to switch between different profiles, the color indicates the selected profile.
Nice large keys – they have a size of 16 x 16 mm, the distance between the keys is the ideal 4 mm. Of course, the course could be deeper, but the switching point is well palpable. On this keyboard, you can not only play, but also comfortable to type long texts. Unlike many other manufacturers, the Acer has chosen a standard layout, so go with a desktop computer, you can easily. The 17-inch Acer Predator 17 is equipped with a numeric keypad, and to facilitate a set of numbers.
Touchpad Acer Predator 17 we liked less. He has highlighted the right and left mouse buttons, but they are too easy to press and with play, creating a feeling of sponges. The finger glides over the surface of the touchpad is not as easy as we would like. But the touchpad determines the movement exactly the same concerns and gestures multi-touch.
On interfaces Acer Predator 17 offers everything gamers need. To the left panel is connected to an external power supply of 230 watts. Nearby are two ports USB 3.0 Type A, two gold-plated 3.5 mm audio jack for connecting a headset and SD card slot. Rulemaking is the optical drive tray, in our case a DVD writer. But thanks to the Frost Core technology can replace additional fans as needed. We shall return to this issue.
On the opposite panel shows two additional ports USB Type A, Type C. supplemented slot It operates on USB 3.1 standard and supports both Thunderbolt 3. To connect an external TV or monitor available HDMI and DisplayPort outputs. Finally, we note the Gigabit Ethernet interface connected to the network controller Killer, and a Kensington lock hole to prevent theft. The network controller provides priority to the passage of a package of online gaming. We just recently published a separate test.
On the back of the Acer Predator 17, you can only see the vents of the cooling system – here there are no ports or interfaces. Fans short time after the start of work in the reverse direction blowing the accumulated dust from the housing. In general, the location of the interface is well thought out. Interfaces USB mouse and flash drives maximum shifted back, and the same power socket and Ethernet are substantially below the display. All this reduces the jumble of cables on the desktop.
Below Acer has added a subwoofer, the bass. It was nice to get the service compartment with a door, behind which you can replace the RAM, hard drive and SSD. Laptop Battery removable. Acer has selected the battery on 8 cells with a capacity of 6,000 mAh or 90 Wh. The manufacturer promises a battery life of up to three hours.
Intel Core i7-6700HQ and NVIDIA GeForce GTX processor 1070 are high-end components, so cooling has to be appropriate, despite the continued increase in efficiency. But the cooling system Acer Predator 17 runs relatively quietly. On the back panel there are two large air vents, but the other side everything is clean, additional air vents can only be found from the bottom of the notebook. But if you want, you can instead of an optical drive to install additional ventilation module, which improves the cooling of the processor and graphics card. In practice it slightly reduces the temperature on the unit of degrees, the noise level does not change. Therefore, Frost Core technology, we showed more pleasant bonus than a practical advantage. Perhaps it will come in handy if the notebook runs in any stressful conditions.
As shown by the study of the body, at the Acer Predator 17 is no compromise on the quality of manufacturing. We proceed to evaluate the performance of the hardware filling and cooling systems.
Like almost all modern gaming notebooks or at the same Predator 15 from the previous generation of graphics, the Acer Predator within 17 working processor Intel Core i7-6700HQ. It belongs to Skylake architecture and manufactured on 14-nm process technology. HQ models based on the new architecture Kaby Lake until early next year, will not appear until that Intel introduced Core seventh-generation architecture is only for thin ultrabook. Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor has four cores that can simultaneously execute up to eight threads, the base frequency of 2.6 GHz in Turbo mode it increases to 3.5 GHz. The amount of L3 cache of 6MB standard. The cache L2 – 256 KB per core, a total of 1 MB. the first level cache for data and instructions is at 32 KB. 45 W – Heat Intel processor package. From Mobile CPU will be faster unless Intel Core i7-6820HK unlocked “up” multiplier for overclocking. It was used, for example, in the previously tested laptop EVGA SC17.
Skylake processor memory controller based on the current standard DDR4, although it can also work with older DDR3 modules. As DDR4 memory prices today fell to a level of DDR3, notebook manufacturers have set a new standard trims. Moreover, they can run at higher clock speeds. Acer just took advantage of this opportunity: if the majority of notebook memory installed on 2.133 MHz, in the Predator 17 used strip on 2.400 MHz. As a result, throughput exceeded 24 GB / s. The 7-Zip test file compression level, we 20.000 MIPS remained unattainable performance was only 19.000 MIPS. In two tests, Cinebench laptop performance showed 7.22 and 659 points, it is expected from the Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor.
The notebook is set in M.2 SSD LiteOn format, but, unfortunately, without having to connect PCI Express and support NVMe protocol. The average reading speed is not more than 530 MB / s. Other gaming notebooks of this class and performance, as the same previously tested MSI GS63VR 6RF Stealth Pro, equipped with a fast SSD with a data rate of more than 2 GB / s. However, in practice, smaller SSD performance levels do not notice. Moreover, storage capacity is limited, and for storing gaming library users will prefer to use a magnetic hard disk. The laptop Acer Predator 17 installed HDD capacity 1TB 2.5-inch format, which provides a transfer rate of 90 MB / s.
Of course, for gamers graphics card performance is much more important than the speed of memory or hard drive. For this reason, Acer has updated its range of laptops. Instead Maxwell graphics card is now used modern Pascal model. For our test model Acer has chosen the NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics card 1070. However, Predator 17 is available in a less expensive version of the video card GeForce GTX 1060.
NVIDIA graphics card GeForce GTX 1070 almost as desktop models, notebook she began to set only a few weeks ago. NVIDIA says about reducing performance as compared to the desktop version by only 10%. It is associated with a reduction in clock frequency, which is somewhat offset by an increase in the number of stream processors. If the desktop version we have 1,920 stream processors, mobile chip offers 2.048. The clock frequency of the chip and memory significantly below desktop video – 1.443 MHz and 2.002 MHz, respectively. Under load accelerated graphics processor, at least up to 1.645 MHz if the enable temperature limit and power consumption. In practice what happens, except in the worst case scenario with simultaneous load of Prime95 and Furmark.
Compared to desktop graphics card memory subsystem has not changed. In both cases, a 8 GB GDDR5 video memory, NVIDIA which connects the 256-bit interface. At a frequency of 2.0 GHz Memory provides up to 256 GB / s. The chip is made on 16-nm process at TSMC FinFET.
Recent games like Grand Theft Auto 5, Dirt Rally, The Witcher 3 or Shadow of Mordor for NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics cards in 1070 in a notebook Acer Predator 17 problems are not. The more that the native resolution is limited to Full-HD. Depending on the test, and we have received from the game 40 to 200 fps. So Acer Predator 17 can be called a gaming laptop without any reservations.
Under extreme load Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor reached temperatures up to 96 ° C, but throttling we have not received, CPU at maximum performance. Surface temperature under load were also within acceptable limits below 40 ° C. The average temperature of the top panel main body was 27 ° C, the lower panel – 28 ° C. The temperature had been idle for two or three degrees lower. Video card worked with a lower temperature than Skylake processor – up to 64 ° C, although the TDP her higher – up to 120 watts. Here, Acer and NVIDIA have worked on glory.
Laptop Noise level remained within acceptable limits. Of course, 49.9 dB (A) under load can not be called quiet, but compared to other notebooks of this class price-performance laptop really is quieter. Other models easily cross bar 50 dB (A) under load. Under normal desktop Windows Acer Predator 17 laptop worked subtly, we got all the noise of 33.5 dB (A).
According to the Acer, the battery on 8 cells has a capacity of 6,000 mAh and 90 Wh, it is enough to play for three hours. In our tests, we have less battery life, the laptop lasted just over two hours. Under the office load situation is better here Acer Predator 17 has shown the battery life nearly five hours. On charging the battery takes three hours. For a gaming notebook like characteristics can be called good, the reason lies in the different technologies of energy saving and Pascal Skylake chips.
Notebook Acer Predator 17 has a display with IPS panel, the maximum brightness is 326 cd / m², which can be called a good performance. But with all the illumination uniformity is not so happy. Between the brightest and darkest areas of brightness variation we have received more than 50 cd / m², the uniformity of illumination was 85%. Contrast panel LG 1.031: 1 is excellent.
As with most gaming notebooks on the market, Acer Predator 17 display gives too cool shades. We received an average color temperature of 7,900 K, but with a colorimeter can be remedied. Also note that the 17.3-inch panel supports NVIDIA G-Sync technology, resolution of 1.920 x 1.080 pixels. If you have already played with NVIDIA G-Sync technology, you probably want to enjoy it, and in the mobile segment.
As previously tested Acer the Predator 15, the new 17-inch Acer has become a great gaming laptop. Updating GPU is welcome. With the new video card Pascal received a laptop gaming performance, but increased and efficiency. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card with 8 GB of GDDR5 memory in a laptop Acer Predator 17 cope with modern games. Almost any game you can put the maximum quality setting, if we restrict the native resolution of 1.920 x 1,080 pixels. Acer refused panel high-definition 4K, but supported NVIDA G-Sync technology, and excellent performance in games.
Due to the fast processor Core i7, SSD and memory at 2,400 MHz everyday performance is also at altitude. Applications will start without delay, the operating system boots in seconds. It is a pity that Acer has not installed SSD with support PCI Express interface and NVMe protocol, M.2 drive worked SATA protocol, bandwidth is limited to 530 MB / s. However, in practice the speed is still remained very decent, much higher than the HDD capabilities. Laptop Cooling system worked relatively quiet under load processor noticeably warm, but the temperature of the laptop surface remained tolerant. Even under a stressful load of hot spots we did not find. Despite the high temperature, CPU throttling is not included, so you always get the best performance.
Notebook Acer Predator 17, slightly worse than proved himself on the touch Padua and display. Last bright and contrast, but the backlight uniformity could be higher. Touchpad, on the other hand, would provide a better sliding and toe. Overall, the laptop Acer Predator 17 G9-793 – a great game model, which will certainly please gamers. But it is necessary and proper to pay: in Europe the laptop in our test configuration will cost from 2,300 euros.